PRESIDENT of the Police Social Welfare Association (PSWA) Insp Michael Seales had a sedition charge against him dropped when the case came up for hearing yesterday in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.
The case was dismissed by Deputy Chief Magistrate Maria Earle Busby-Caddle after Seales’ attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, and Owen Hinds Jr argued that during a televised interview in 2015, Insp Seales did not explicitly call on members of the association to dissent against the government.
In the eighth court, they argued that during the interview, Seales’ use of the word ‘they’ did not specifically refer to the government and therefore failed to prove the State’s claim that a charge of sedition was committed. On being charged, Insp Seales was placed on suspension from active duty. His comments were aired on TV6’s morning edition show in which he addressed the PSWA’s concerns on the snail’s pace of wage negotiation at the time.
Magistrate Busby-Caddle agreed with the defence lawyers’ submissions and dismissed the case. As Insp Seales walked out of the courthouse, he told reporters that he bore no grudge against anyone for his two-year ordeal and thanked his family, lawyers and PSWA members for the support he received during the duration of the case.
“The experience has been a humbling one and I would like to stress that I hold no malice towards anyone and I have no business conspiring against anyone...that’s not my business. I am just Michael Seales and all I can be is loving and forgiving. I cannot hold anything against anyone.”
Seales called on Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to reinstate him to his substantive position within the Police Service now that the charge has been thrown out by the courts. Seales said he intends to speak with Commissioner Williams on the matter as well as payment of cash allowances owed during his suspension.
“I need to talk to the Commissioner now and say that he needs to make a public statement and he needs to reinstate me immediately because I am still on suspension officially. I was suspended the very same day of the incident so I would want to be reinstated the very same day of the dismissal of the case,” Seales said.